Sussex Police’s blitz on burglars has helped save the county more than £2 million this year alone.
The Home Office estimates that every domestic burglary costs an average of £5,000 in terms of damage caused by the criminal, the value of the items taken, the emotional cost to the victim and the criminal justice system bill for investigating and prosecuting offenders.
The latest figures for this year show that the number of burglaries committed in Sussex has fallen by almost 15% - down from 3281 between April 2012 and January 2013 to 2795 in the equivalent period in 2014.
Using the government’s calculations, reducing the number of burglaries by 486 has saved the people of Sussex just over £2.4 million over the last 10 months.
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie in June to tackle burglary across the county.
Detective Superintendent Jez Graves said: “We’ve had some great successes in catching and charging burglars and their accomplices since the launch of Operation Magpie.
“On a daily basis our officers and staff are working extremely hard and with real focus to prevent and detect the burglary of people’s homes.
“It is pleasing when our investigations result in the recovery of victims’ property and the imprisonment of offenders but we also put a lot of effort into trying to prevent the offences happening in the first place through visible and targeted patrols and by working with our communities and partners in relation to crime prevention.
“I’m pleased that there are fewer crimes and less victims but one burglary is one too many and I am determined to keep the pressure on criminals.”
Among the successes in recent weeks have been:
- the jailing of Ricky Bradick, 26, of Stapley Road, Hove, for two years for handling stolen goods and motoring offences.
- the charging of 23-year-old George Winter with two burglaries in Upperton Road, Eastbourne, in January,
- the charging of Andrej Popov, 38, of Cambridge Gardens, Hastings, with a burglary in Tovey Close, Eastbourne, during which thousands of pounds worth of jewellery was stolen,
- the charging of Helen Doyle, 36, of The Crestway, Brighton, with a burglary in Chiddingly Close, Brighton
- the charging of Paul Godfrey, 34, of Whitehawk Way, Brighton, with a burglary in Swanborough Drive, Brighton
- the charging of William Gunn and David Lown, both 22 and of no fixed address, with two burglaries in Russell Square, Brighton
- the charging of George Qatramiz, 29, of Cedarwell Close, Piddinghoe, and Jack Clark, 22, of Putney Park Lane, Putney, London, with stealing £130,000 worth of antiques, watches and a car in a burglary in Roedean Crescent, Brighton
- the arrest of five men and a woman in connection with 11 burglaries - five in West Sussex and two each in East Sussex, Wiltshire and Essex. Valuable antiques were stolen in each of the crimes, including some silverware, cutlery and paintings that have been recovered. Among the burglaries being linked to the group are ones in Worthing, Shoreham, Washington, West Chiltington, Cowfold, Friston and Glynde. The six suspects, from Shoreham and Hove, have been bailed until 20 March.
- the arrest of three men for 13 burglaries in central Eastbourne from November to January. Stolen laptops, electrical items and bank cards have been recovered and the suspects have been released on bail until 10 March.
Tackling burglary has been a consistent theme during Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne’s monthly performance and accountability meetings with the Chief Constable.
Mrs Bourne said: “Residents have told me that burglary is a concern to them and this is something I have challenged the Chief Constable on. That is why I was pleased to join the launch of Operation Magpie in June last year and see Sussex Police taking a proactive approach to targeting burglars in our county.
“These latest figures show that the number of burglaries has fallen in the past 10 months, which is very encouraging and, critically, this reduction has saved the force a significant amount of money at a time when it is being asked to make considerable efficiencies.
“The impact of a burglary can have a profound effect on victims and they may often describe it as a robbery or an invasion of their home; terms that actually relate to acts on a person not a property. This reinforces the deep, personal impact that a burglary has on someone that experiences it.
“I have a made a commitment to ensure we can all feel safer on our streets and in our homes, and I will continue to keep a watchful eye on this issue on behalf of local residents.”
If you have information about a burglary call 101, email email@example.com or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
If you see a burglary taking place call 999.